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When do I require a Building Regulation application?

Generally all new buildings require a Building Regulation application, however there are some exemptions for certain buildings such as certain small detached buildings such as garages and agricultural buildings.

More information on exemptions from building regulations is available on our planning portal.

Extensions to buildings

Generally extensions require a Building Regulations application, however there are some exceptions these being:

Conservatories will be exempt if they meet all of the following requirements:

  • they have an internal floor area that is 30m2 or less,
  • they are thermally separated from the existing house, i.e. there are external-quality doors or windows,
  • they have safety glazing within critical locations to satisfy BS6206,
  • any heating provided within the conservatory should be controlled on with on/off and temperature controls,
  • the area of glazing to the external walls is not less than 50%,
  • the area of glazing to the roof is not less than 75%,
  • they are built at ground floor level.

Porches will be exempt if they meet all of the following requirements:

  • they have an internal floor area that is 30m2 or less,
  • they are thermally separated from the existing house, i.e. there are external-quality doors or windows,
  • they have safety glazing within critical locations to satisfy BS6206,
  • they are built at ground floor level.

Detached garages

Detached garages require a Building Regulation application unless they meet all of the following requirements:

  • the internal floor area is 30m2 or less, 
  • the garage is at least 1m from the boundary or it is constructed of substantially non-combustible material,
  • they are sited at ground level.

Carports

Carports require a Building Regulation application unless they meet all of the following requirements:

  • the internal floor area is 30m2 or less, 
  • it is open on two or more sides,
  • they are sited at ground level.

Change the use of a building

Any building that is subject to a material change of use under the Building Regulations requires an application, examples being:

  • the building is used as a dwelling, where previously it was not,
  • the building contains a flat, where previously it did not,
  • the building is used as an hotel or a boarding house, where previously it was not,
  • the building is used as an institution, where previously it was not,
  • the building is used as a public building, where previously it was not,
  • the building is not a building described in Classes I to VI in Schedule 2, where previously it was,
  • the building, which contains at least one dwelling, contains a greater or lesser number of dwellings than it did previously,
  • the building contains a room for residential purposes, where previously it did not,
  • the building, which contains at least one room for residential purposes, contains a greater or lesser number of such rooms than it did previously, or,
  • the building is used as a shop, where previously it was not.

Material alterations

An alteration is material for the purposes of the Building Regulations if at any stage during the building works it results in the following being less compliance than they were previously.

  • Approved Document A, Structure.
  • Approved Document B, Section 1 (means of warning and escape).
  • Approved Document B, Section 3 (internal fire spread - structure).
  • Approved Document B, Section 4 (external fire spread).
  • Approved Document B, Section 5 (access and facilities for the fire service).
  • Approved Document  M, (access to and use of buildings).

Consequently if any building work results in a building being less compliant than previously in relation to the above then a Building Regulation will be required.

Conversions of a garage or loft/roof space or outbuildings

Conversions of any garage, loft space or outbuilding will require a Building Regulation application.

Drainage (Controlled services and fittings)

The provision of any new drainage, the extension or change of any drainage will require a Building Regulation application.

Bathrooms, sinks, toilets showers baths (Controlled services and fittings)

The provision of new toilets, urinals, sinks, showers, baths or bathrooms in a dwelling will require a Building Regulation application.

Alternatively a person registered with an appropriate competent person's scheme can install the above appliances.

Electrical installations/alterations (Controlled services and fittings)

Since the 1st of January 2005 this work is covered under Part P of the Building Regulations.  A competent person registered with a suitable competent persons scheme can carry out any electrical work on your behalf.

Alternatively if a non competent person wishes to provide new electrical circuits or carry out any electrical work in a special location (kitchens, bathroom or outside), then a building regulation application application will be required.

Renovation of thermal elements

If you are replacing or renovating more than 25% of the surface area of a wall, floor or roof of a building a Building Regulation application may be required if there is an insufficient level of insulation within your existing house.

Further information can be obtained by viewing the appropriate Approved Document. Approved Document Part L1B Conservation of fuel and power in existing dwellings or Approved Document Part L2B Conservation of fuel and power in existing buildings other than dwellings .

Replacement of roof coverings

If a roof covering is replaced with a heavier material for example, replacing slates with concrete tiles and the loadings are increased by more than 15% a Building Regulation application will be required.

If the new roof covering is significantly lighter than the existing roof covering a Building Regulation application may still be required.  Please contact us for further information.

  • Please note that the replacement of roof coverings may also trigger requirements under renovation of thermal elements.

Replacement windows, doors and rooflights. (Controlled services and fittings)

All replacement window, doors and rooflights will require a Building Regulation application, unless the work is carried out by an installer who is registered with a relevant competent person scheme.

Doors containing less than 50% of glazing; measured on their internal face are exempt from the Building Regulations.

New windows, doors and rooflights. (Controlled services and fittings)

The provision of a new window, door or rooflight can only be carried out by providing us with a Building Regulation application.  Competent person schemes are not a valid alternative for new windows, new doors or new rooflights.

Doors containing less than 50% of glazing; measured on their internal face are exempt from the Building Regulations.

Structural alterations

Any structural alteration such as the removal of an internal load bearing wall,  chimney breast removal or removal of any structural element will require a Building Regulation application.

Underpinning

Underpinning the foundations of any building is controlled works and will require a Building Regulation application.

Heat producing appliances/oil and LPG storage tanks (Controlled services and fittings)

Works involving the provision of solid fuel, gas, and oil heat producing appliances (fire places, log burning stoves etc) along with chimneys, flues and there relining are subject to control under the Building Regulations.  The installation of oil and LPG storage tanks is also controlled.  There are a variety of competent persons schemes which may be applicable to your proposed project.  Further details are available from the Communities and Local Government website.

Please note that this list is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to cover all elements of building work that are controlled under the Building Regulations, and if there is any doubt about the work you are proposing then please contact us to discuss your proposals.

Please note: You could considerably affect the value of your home if you carry out alterations or extensions that don't comply with the Building Regulations.  It is a legal requirement to submit a Building Regulation application.

Contact us

Building Control
Guildford Borough Council
Millmead House
Millmead
Guildford
GU2 4BB
United Kingdom

Telephone: 44 01483 444545
Email: buildingcontrol@guildford.gov.uk

Last updated: 11 October 2012 13:11 PM